SITY: Change of Seasons

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Asters Growing in a Rock Pile

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New to Our Yard: Mini Asters

Before moving to this house, the only time I ever gave the aster a thought was when doing a crossword that contained the word ASTER. Thanks to the word’s pattern of vowels and consonants, it is well-shaped for puzzles. It shows up regularly in crosswords and other grid puzzles, usually clued using some variation on the phrase “Fall flower” or “Late bloomer?”

So I’ve known for a long time that asters bloomed in the fall, but I never gave that fact much thought. But here, in this weedy yard of mine, we get asters every year. And just as violets mark the spring, asters are the marker of summer’s end.

Flowers don’t follow arbitrary, man-made schedules but rather the unstoppable patterns of nature. When our asters start to bloom, as they now have, that means summer is over for real. The days are going to get shorter and the weather cooler, and there’s nothing we can do to stop it.

Sometimes they make me think of the beginning of fall, cheerfully reminding me of all the things that fall has to offer. But sometimes, like this year, they make me think about the ending of summer, reminding me of all the things we’ll miss once the summer is gone, and providing visual proof that the clock is ticking on the year.  Time is passing too quickly.

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